WATERING lawns will be banned and there will be no watering of gardens by hose under extreme new water restrictions to be considered by Bathurst Regional Council.
Four months after Bathurst residents were placed on water restrictions for the first time since the Ben Chifley Dam wall was raised in 1999, a report to councillors has raised concerns that the dam's level continues to fall.
The dam was at 57.6 per cent capacity when Level 3 restrictions came into effect on November 27, 2018 but is now below 45 per cent.
That's its lowest level since 2003.
A report to Wednesday night's council meeting by engineering services director Darren Sturgiss highlights the need to start planning now for tighter restrictions and recommends councillors hold a working party to discuss options.
"Council needs to continue further planning in advance for the management of worsening storage levels," the report states.
"These include but are not limited to details around how council will or will not comply with the restrictions in all locations including sporting fields, implementation of an enforcement plan, developing details on how exemptions will be managed, and identification of further opportunities to reduce demand from irrigation ..."
Mr Sturgiss said the next level of water restrictions were rated "extreme" and would include:
- No watering of lawns.
- Restricting the watering of gardens to just twice a week (between 6pm and 9pm on Wednesday and Sunday) and only allowing watering from buckets or watering cans.
- A ban on cars being washed at home.
- A ban on filling or topping up pools, garden features and children's pools.
Residents would be limited to four-minute showers or one bath per person per day to a depth of 150mm, though council concedes it cannot actively enforce indoor water use restrictions.
Council's own water restrictions report notes that the introduction of extreme restrictions would mean the "potential loss of lawns and gardens in many cases".
However, there is no plan to immediately introduce extreme restrictions with Mr Sturgiss recommending Level 3 restrictions remain "until further notice".
Have your say ...